I guess I’m supposed to be upset. That’s what everyone expects. Weeping and the wearing of black and all that funeral crap. But I just don’t want to go there. It looks so fake, crowding into a stuffy church, a cheap stiff suit he never wore in his life. Everyone dressed up like Easter without the resurrection.
I’d rather be outside in the sun. The warm rays and the blue sky eases the pain. I’d rather take a drive into the country and bury him somewhere among the fields and cottonwoods. We’d dress him in a pair of faded jeans and a stained shirt. That’s the way he was. Why do we have to make him something he wasn’t.
I liked to think he loved me more because I was the youngest granddaughter. By the time it was my turn to spend weekends with grandma and grandpa they were already showing signs of wear and tear. He couldn’t toss me up into the air and he couldn’t run with me across the fields. Instead he’d sit in the chair and watch, calling out taunts and jokes, trying to make me laugh and squeel. I’d always come rushing back and put my hands on my hips and try to be as grown up as I could. I’d tell my grandpa he shouldn’t say that to princesses. Grandpa would laugh from his belly and reach out and grab me. He’d pull me into his lap and wrap his weathered arms around me and tell me that he didn’t mean it, that I was a good girl, and that I knew that. I always did. I just wanted him to wrap those tired hands around me.
Grandma would always witness this scene from afar, about to call us to supper but waiting to watch the intergenerational interaction. Now I see grandma across the aisle, teary face hidden behind a black vale. She could use a bit of the early evening sun. That’s the best time for the sun, that’s the best time to pull up a lawn chair and just watch the afternoon slip away. If only I could slip away I’d do it.